Stephany Daniels, senior, votes for the first time on Nov. 7. (Provided by Stephany Daniels)
Stephany Daniels, senior, votes for the first time on Nov. 7.

Provided by Stephany Daniels

HHS students participate in 2017 local election

City and district elect City Council and School Board Members, vote on three referenda

Nov 9, 2017

Seniors experience first time voting

As Stephany Daniels, senior, walked into her polling location, she got to experience, first hand, the privileges of being 18 years old.

On Nov. 7, Daniels and other adults over the age of 18 will have the opportunity to vote on issues within their community. Within the Hopkins School District voters will have the chance the vote for three new school board members, a mayor, city council members, and three referenda.

“[I decided to vote] because [Mr. John Unruh-Friesen, Social Studies] encouraged me to and a lot of my family members also encouraged me to,” Daniels said.

There are many students like Daniels that vote because they were encouraged to by adults. According to Child Trends, only 39 to 42 percent of 18-year-olds vote in non-presidential elections. Compared to the amount that registered, it is a decline. 

Daniels believes that low youth voter turnout is because teens don’t care enough.

“They don’t feel like they are affected by anything, when they really are,” Daniels said.

Unruh-Friesen believes that it is not necessarily the lack of care, but the lack of knowledge on how to become an informed voter.

“Part of it is that they don’t know, but I think that young people can, not all, be not interested in political things. Maybe they don’t follow the news at all, and if you don’t follow the news or politics it’s not relevant to you life,” Unruh-Friesen said.

Young adults in the millennials generation have a large impact on voting. According to NPR news, millennials, ages 18-35 years old, make up about 31% of the overall electorate.

“I vote because I get to help decide the direction the country goes in or my city goes in or my school district goes…and I see a lot of future voters in the students that I have in my classroom,” Unruh-Friesen said.

New school board members elected, referenda passed

For the school board seat, the Hopkins community elected Jen Westmoreland Bouchard, Fartun Ahmed, and Chris LaTondresse to be school board members. Westmoreland Bouchard received 29.03 percent of the votes, Ahmed received 26.12 percent, and LaTondresse received 25.16 percent.

Molly Cummings was re-elected as mayor of Hopkins with 90.24 percent of the votes.

Kristi Halverson and Katy Campbell were both re-elected for the city council seats. Campbell won with 40.36 percent of the votes, and Halverson won with 44.42 percent of the vote.

The Hopkins residents also had the chance to vote on three referenda. The bond was passed with 77.89 percent. The capital project levy was passed with 77.89 percent. The operating levy was passed with 77.15 percent.

“For Hopkins it was a small ask and we kept the message clear between the district and the community…we live in a community that supports education,” said Luke Fredrickson, a member of the Vote Yes committee.

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